A ‘Divine’ time awaits Neil Hannon at Stendhal

neil hannon
neil hannon

He’s the man behind the Father Ted theme music and Ted’s contribution to the world of Eurovision – My Lovely Horse - and now his fans will get to see him when he plays Stendhal Festival in Limavady next month.

Derry native Neil Hannon is the headline performance at Stendhal Festival of Art on August 17 and is promising festival goers a show that will “keep them on their toes.”

Hannon grew up in the Maiden City before his family moved to Fermanagh following his father’s promotion to Bishop of Enniskillen in 1981.

However, despite living just 18 miles away from Limavady in his formative years, Neil says that he has no stand out memories of the town, something which the organisers of Stendhal Festival are more than happy to change as they continue to promote the Roe Valley area.

“I think I must have been through Limavady many times in my dim and distant past, it being not too far from the place of my birth,” he said, “though I fear I have no distinct memories of it!”

Organisers of the summer festival are, however, hoping that will change after his gig.

“My festival sets are virtually identical to my usual live sets, if perhaps a little shorter,” Neil said.

“I like to give the audience a bit of everything. One minute it’s National Express, the next it’s Snowball in Negative. It keeps them on their toes.”

A creative tour de force, be it under The Divine Comedy banner or throughout his other artistic outlets such as the Duckworth Lewis Method, a band he fronts alongside good friend Thomas Walsh, Neil says that sometimes it is hard to focus on just one thing.

“It can be a little disorientating, especially when the Duckworth Lewis Method requires quite a different mentality to the Divine Comedy. But I’m sure there are harder jobs in the world.”

A host of tour dates confirmed for the Duckworth Lewis Method this summer makes Neil’s solo performance under The Divine Comedy name even more of a coup for the organisers of Stendhal Festival, and although Neil is giving a lot of focus to The Duckworth Lewis Method at the minute he says that new Divine Comedy material is never too far from his thoughts.

“I always have ‘plans’ to make a new (Divine Comedy) record,” he said. “It’s just a question of time and ideas. It will happen. It always does.”

Witness The Divine Comedy live at Stendhal Festival of Art, August 16 and 17, at Ballymully Cottage Farm.

For information visit stendhalfestival.com